The New Year has got me (and most of you I'd wager) thinking about new starts and resolutions. There is an incredible amount of pressure on us in January to blast all our bad habits, save money and drop the few kilos we all inevitably put on during the silly season. But I prefer thought out, measurable goals to the vagueness of a yearly 'resolution'. Goals are broken down into steps, giving you a clear direction and also a deadline to keep you accountable! I wanted to share a few of mine...
- Read 20 books. I used to read so much. I had a 2 hour commute to college/work every day and would pass the time by reading whatever I could get my hands on. I was averaging about fifty books a year. I miss that tremendous appetite I had for reading, so this year one of my goals is to read 20 books, and in doing so also eliminate the pile of unread books on my bedside table.
- Have an adventure once a week. I've learned that I need little adventures every couple of days in order to function creatively. Stepping away from my computer to discover something new sees me come back refreshed and ultimately always more productive. It can be as simple as a walk to a new beach, a trip to a café I haven't tried before, or getting out of the city entirely.
- Grow the Spicyicecream brand: food blog and graphic design. I have big plans for this space in the next 12 months, but I can't say too much about that yet! I also launched my design company recently, so this year will be about working hard to grow both businesses, and working on as many projects as possible that combine my love of food with my love of design.
- Write and take photos every single day. I really want to push both of these skills in 2014, and the best way is to practice practice practice! This also ties into my overarching goal for the year, which is to Be Grateful so I'm going to try and document the special things that happen every day.
I've had blondies on the brain since I made the Banana Split Blondies a few months ago. Since the original recipe is such a blank canvas, I wondered what other ingredients could be added into them, like Steph's delicious looking rhubarb and ginger version. I decided to try a summery version with fresh berries and white chocolate chips.
I used the exact same recipe as before, but it turned out a little more 'gooey' than 'cakey' this time, even after allowing a little extra baking time. Perhaps because of the fruit juices that are released while baking? They're still very tasty - anything with berries and white chocolate is a winner in my book. Just make sure to cool them completely before trying to cut them up, or they'll fall apart. Adding a little extra flour and baking powder may also help, but you'll have to experiment with that.
Have you set any goals for the year? I'd love to hear yours in the comments!
Berry and White Chocolate Blondies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 112g butter, melted
- 220g light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 100g white chocolate chips
- 150g mixed berries (I used blueberries and chopped strawberries)
- Icing sugar, to serve
Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 30-40 minutes, or until set in the middle. Cool to room temperature before cutting them.